Planetary Defense from Asteroids and Comets – Joint AIAA, IEEE, ASME Meeting

Join us for an ASME, AIAA, IEEE Houston sections joint meeting with special guest speaker: Dr. Nahum Melamed!

15 July 2021 6:00 PM CST

Virtual


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Biography

Dr. Melamed is a project leader in the Embedded Control Systems Department in the Guidance and Control Subdivision at The Aerospace Corporation. He joined Aerospace in 2003. As a technical lead in Launch Vehicle Software, Melamed coordinates and guides a team of interdepartmental technical experts, and supports validation and mission readiness certification of the flight software and mission parameters for NASA’s Artemis missions. He conducts planetary defense technical and policy studies, co-chairs planetary defense conferences, serves on exercises exercise organizing committees, and speaks at these venues. He earned a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech.

Abstract – Planetary Defense from Asteroids and Comets
Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are asteroids and comets that pose local, regional, or continental impact threat. The realization that asteroid impacts are a modern-day possibility followed analyses proving that many of the craters on Earth were caused by cosmic impacts rather than by gradual geological process or volcanic eruptions. In the 1980s researchers discovered that the demise of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago coincided with a major asteroid impact, and in 1994 observers recognized similar-sized impacts when fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 smashed into Jupiter. If such an object were to hit Earth today, it could cause widespread devastation and profoundly affect life on Earth. Although major cosmic collisions with Earth are infrequent, their consequences could be severe. Hence, advanced planning is critical to mitigating future asteroid threats. And the best time to start preparing is now—well before any actual threat is detected.

Given this reality: What are the current risks? How would we deflect or destroy an asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth? What are the technical and political risks? What are the obligations and strategic interests that would drive a decision to act? This talk describes results from recent international planetary defense conferences and table-top exercises addressing these global questions through scientific studies and hypothetical scenarios. The talk also highlights evolving public and educational outreach, new simulation tools, recent space missions, and actions taken by the United Nations to support Planetary Defense.

ASTROCAMP: Free Summer Camp!

June 7-18, 2021

Are you interested in trajectory design in cislunar space?

Learn how trajectory design works in the Earth-Moon system and multi-body gravity fields at ASTROCAMP, an asynchronous series of free, online modules designed for participants who have taken an undergraduate orbital mechanics class but have little or no experience with gravitational multi-body dynamics.

ASTROCAMP will run June 7-18, 2021
register here (for free!)
A series of virtual live events to bring together the ASTROCAMP community!

Please see the flyer below for more information.

Virtual Speaker Luncheon Series: Vanessa E. Wyche

JOIN US FOR OUR UPCOMING LUNCHEON!

Featured Speaker: Vanessa E. Wyche

10 June 2021 12:00 CST

Virtual

Join the meeting via Zoom
Meeting ID: 990 5181 1785
Passcode: 672332
    Biography

    • Vanessa Wyche was recently named acting director of NASA Johnson Space Center, home of America’s astronaut corps, Mission Control Center, International Space Station, Orion and Gateway programs and its nearly 11,000 civil service and contractor employees. She is responsible for a broad range of human spaceflight activities, such as development and operations of human spacecraft, commercialization of low-Earth orbit and JSC’s role in landing the first woman and first person of color on the surface of the Moon.
    • Wyche was most recently deputy director of JSC, a position she held since 2018. Other key leadership positions she has held at NASA include: assistant and acting deputy director of JSC, director of Exploration Integrations and Science Directorate, flight manager of several Shuttle missions and executive officer in the Office of the NASA Administrator, among others. Before joining NASA in 1989, Wyche worked for the Food and Drug Administration in Washington, DC.
    • Wyche has received many prestigious awards, including two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, two NASA Achievement Medals, and is a “Women at NASA” award recipient. She is a current fellow of the International Women’s Forum.

    Dr. Martin: A Career in Aerospace

    11 March 2021

    Virtual

    Please join Dr. Michael Martin as he discusses his aerospace career as a former rocket engine tester, a senior design engineer on Orion, and a rocket propulsion researcher.

    When:
    Thursday, March 11 @ 7:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
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    Meeting ID: 956 3552 9546
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